Review: Hamilton Loomis Band – Garston Royal British Legion, Liverpool – 12 March 2010

Posted on: Monday, Mar 22, 2010


This was the third gig arranged at Garston Royal British Legion by John and Lorraine Welsh, following the well-supported appearances of The Stumble and The Producers. It was the Hamilton Loomis Band’s sole performance in the north west of England on their UK tour and more than 260 of their fans converged on Liverpool. A side attraction to the show was the availability of the band’s album, Live In England, more than half of the tracks on which were recorded at Liverpool Marina in 2009.

The funky opening number, complete with superb three-part vocal harmonies, set the scene before making way for the bouncing shuffle, “Workin’Real Hard”, and the catchy “Best Worst Day”. Another original composition bewailing the frustration of songwriter’s block was followed by the excellent “What It Is”, which was embellished by a superb tenor sax solo from Stratton Doyle and some lovely Stevie Wonderesque harp from Hamilton Loomis. The next number gave bass guitarist, Kent Beatty, the opportunity to turn on the style before a tribute to Loomis’s late, lamented mentor, Bo Diddley, delivered another helping of multi-voiced enhancement. “Voodoo Doll” then featured a phenomenal extended ‘duel’ between Doyle and Loomis on sax and guitar respectively. The first set was completed by “Get My Blues On” which saw Hamilton Loomis on walkabout and boasted cameo performances from Beatty and drummer, Jamie Little.

The excellent “No No No” kicked off the second set, followed by “Turnin’ Heads”, which provided a platform for Alex McKown, a thirteen year old guitarist from Glossop to swap riffs with Hamilton Loomis with impressive dexterity and remarkable composure for one so young. Johnny Guitar Watson’s “Bow Wow” became the vehicle for some table-hopping by Loomis and a terrific display of guitar mastery, while a splendid performance of “Slow Lover” provided a fabulous harp solo. The set was rounded off with “Take A Number And Stand In Line” and, for a loudly demanded encore, a terrific version of “Roadrunner”.

This was a top quality show from four highly accomplished musicians, who combine magnificently to form a wonderfully tight and well balanced unit. Hamilton Loomis oozes class and is a superlative and charismatic performer. It can only be a matter of time before they progress to the next level and receive wider acclaim. It would be no less than they deserve.

Click here to see more photos of the gig taken by John R Welsh
Click here to watch a video of the gig taken by John R Welsh and here and here (for a clip featuring young Alex McKown)
Click here to see photos of the gig taken by Alan White

Hamilton Loomis Website

Lionel Ross
(photo by John R Welsh, son of John and Lorraine)

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